Before I became pregnant with my son, I genuinely thought everything from, "eating for two," to the supposed nesting instinct was all a bunch of malarkey. Though I never quite got the weird cravings or mythical glow, I did find myself very concerned about getting every single detail and loose end tied up before the arrival of our little one. So if you're pregnant, know someone who is, or are just curious, you might wonder how to know if you're nesting. As it turns out, there's some actual evidence to back up what I believed was an old wives' tale.
Though each woman is differently and may experience this at varying levels of intensity or not at all, I was surprised to find that it was a legit thing that happens to many women who are expecting. I'd always pictured some 1950s housewife reminiscent of The Stepford Wives when anyone talked about nesting and the urge to be a homemaker.
In reality, it's not as simple as flipping a switch and becoming a domestic diva, it's more about biological instincts hardwired into our genetic coding to make sure you've done all you can to prepare for your baby's arrival. So check some of the interesting ways to know if you're nesting.
1. You're Cleaning — A Lot
Ask anyone who has lived with me, and they'll tell you I'm not really known for my organized ways. Yet, during pregnancy, I couldn't clean enough. Dr. Steven Kim, a physician and medical consultant, told Healthline that an urge to clean frequently is a top sign of nesting. It makes sense, though, since it's better for a baby to be in a sanitary environment.
2. You're All About Makeovers
The same way I just knew that we needed to move all the furniture around in the nursery at midnight, many pregnant women get those some instincts. According to The American Pregnancy Association, all mammals, including humans, begin decorating, fixing, or rearranging their home during the nesting phase. Again, every woman is different, so some women might want to completely repaint a room while others are fine with just picking out a new duvet.
3. You're A Hermit
Quite literally, nesting can mean that some pregnant women will want to stay close to their own nest, their home. Marilee Hartling, a registered nurse, told Parents, "you may feel increasingly reluctant to leave your nest at all," especially the closer you get to your due date. You can still invite friends over if you miss being social but don't want to leave your house.
4. You Have Super Human Energy
Though you might use most of your Red Bull-esque energy to do the aforementioned cleaning and decorating, there's a real reason for it. According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, these spurts of energy near the end of your pregnancy are signs of nesting. Why? Apparently it's your body's way of preparing for labor, which requires plenty of stamina and energy.
5. You're Getting Rid Of Things
Everyone benefits when you decide to take stock of your belongings and choose to donate things which you don't need anymore. But serious downsizing could be an indicator. Dr. Carrie Contey, a prenatal and perinatal psychologist, told The Bump that divesting and getting rid of items is a sign of nesting because it shows that you're quite literally making room for the baby.
6. You're Avoiding Anything Remotely Risky
Part of this is just common sense, really. As a pregnant woman, you probably know that daredevil stunts should be left to people who aren't currently carrying a tiny human. Dr. M.D. Rutherford and Dr. Marla V. Anderson of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, told The Huffington Post, "nesting behaviors include a tendency to retreat." Is this just part of the whole homebody thing? Not necessarily. "back when wild predators could outrun a very pregnant woman, this was nature’s way of telling us it was time to ready the roost," they added. So if you suddenly find yourself not as adventurous as you once were, it could be your instincts trying to protect you and your baby from danger.
7. You're Experience All The Feels
Hormonal moments are a hallmark of pregnancy, but if you notice that everything takes on a sentimental tinge, that may let you know you're nesting. According to the experts at What To Expect When You're Expecting, becoming emotional and forming even closer bonds with loved ones are signs of nesting in the third trimester since your body experiences a spike in hormonal activity as it prepares for labor.